Anna Bers (Göttingen University) and Terje Loogus (Tartu University): Estonian authors and translations of Estonian poetry on - a comparative data report

The German portal has existed since 1999 and today comprises almost 1.5000 poems from over 80 languages. In addition to the text of the poems, the site systematically offers an original reading by the author and translations of the text. Lyrikline, therefore, is at the same time a sound and text archive, a database and a dialogical platform for contemporary multilingual poetry. Taking a look at Lyrikline means observing a powerful and much-visited portal for multilingual exchange processes in the field of lyric poetry.

Our talk introduces Lyrikline and examines the role of Estonian poetry as an example. We consider translations into Estonian as well as those from the Estonian language. Both the social structure of the authors and the subject matter of the text will be addressed in our talk. The empirical distribution of source and target languages is also particularly important to us.

A comparative perspective relates the data on Estonian poems to other languages and to the total number of poems on Lyrikline. As an exploratory first access to an exemplary amount of data, we would like to present observations to a comparative literary study audience for discussion.

Anneli Mihkelev (Tallinn University): Tensions in Modernist Art and Lyric Poetry at the Beginning of the 20th Century in Estonian Culture: Ernst Enno and Others

The Young Estonia group (1905-1919) was at the centre of Estonian literature at the beginning of the 20th century. One of the main Young Estonia poets was Gustav Suits (1883-1956), who wrote his poems in a symbolist style and was officially the creator of modern Estonian poetry. More important figures from this period were Ernst Enno (1875-1934) and Villem Grünthal-Ridala (1885-1942). Enno's nature poetry is pantheistic and symbolic, emotional and sensitive, at times suggesting transcendental cognition. As one of the first symbolists in Estonian poetry Enno was influenced by Maurice Maeterlinck and Rainer Maria Rilke, at the same time continuing the style of Juhan Liiv (1864-1913). On the surface, Enno’s poetry seems to be nature property: he describes beautiful landscapes, forests, villages, fields, lakes, seasons and the sea. His favourite motifs are his (patriarchal) home and memories from his childhood, roads and houses. He was interested in Oriental religion, which influenced his poetry to become less rational and more mystical. One of the most important motifs in his poetry is ‘the way’, which is a symbol of the path of life with the individual as an eternal wanderer seeking light or his/her mental place or home. He wrote mainly in free verse, but his poems are musical and individual. A number of his poems have been set to music. His poem “Rändaja õhtulaul” (‘The Night Song of the Wanderer’, 1998) is well-known from the film Toomas Nipernaadi, based on the novel by August Gailit (1890-1960). The paper analyses the verbal texts of Enno and Ridala, and the interaction between visual and verbal texts in general.

Anneli Niinre (Estonia, freelancer): The Role of Lyrics in Estonian Literature

When Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature, the boundaries of literature were questioned. Can lyrics be considered literature? How can we define lyrics? Are they simply poetical texts with music or something more complex? Taking Estonian literature as an example, the paper maps the role of poems and lyrics in Estonian literature. At the beginning of Estonian literature one can find traditional folksongs, since when a great number of melodised poetic texts have played a significant role in Estonian culture as several of them are considered core texts, for example “Mu isamaa on minu arm” by Lydia Koidula, songs from the feature film Viimne reliikvia, with lyrics written by Paul-Eerik Rummo, or “Laul Põhjamaast”, with lyrics by Enn Vetemaa.

Anne-Marie Le Baillif (Retraitée de l'université de Marne la Vallée): The First Step in French Identity Building

The building of a modern French historical identity starts with Ordonnance de Villers-Cotterêts (1539), which ordered that all official documents previously in Latin now had to be in French. This political decision points to unity in the kingdom. Through the development of lyrical poetry poets and dramatists of the time, such as Ronsard, d’Aubigné and others, became positive or negative diarists of royal politics, giving us a unified history of the kingdom. In a second historical period, French poetry goes back to a similar phenomenon through Victor Hugo and extends to the peinture d’histoire phenomenon.

We try to examine how politics used lyrical poetry to build a French identity through the Renaissance and its repercussions in the 19th century.

Arne Merilai (University of Tartu): Poetics is in the Genes

The manifesto “Poetics is in the Genes” (published in Keel ja Kirjandus 2021, 1–2: 3–10) reveals the commonality between poetics and genetics for the first time. Thus far, outside of cellular biology, attempts have been made from both (text)linguistics and semiotics to describe the genome and its interactions similarly to language. However, the approach in this interpretation relies particularly on the poetic function of language and its underlying self-referentiality as its starting point. Poetic relevance reveals itself explicitly in its relation to the cutting-edge concept of CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), which thematises abundant metric and figurative phenomena and terms on several levels: accumulation, regularity, interval, different repetitions, rhythm; equivalency, substitution, connotation; synecdoche, metonymy, metaphor, irony, implicature, paradox; palindrome, chiasmus, ellipsis, zeugma, calembour, polysyndeton; verses, stanzas, chapters, refrains, (identical) rhymes, collage, plot, poem, composition, text, hypertext, architext, orchestration; graphic imagery, symmetry–asymmetry; homonyms, synonyms, antonyms, archaisms, neologisms; words, phrases, sentences, syntax, definitions, quotes, palimpsest; cacophony, noise, harmony; the self-reflexivity of the utterance and utterer. From this perspective, life stems from primordial poetics. It is a convincing enough association to apply poetic analysis to the free interpretation process of genomes by cells. A universal law of nature is that symmetry dictates design (including asymmetry): poetics is everywhere.

Asta Vaškelienė (Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore): Officio Musae dolentis aut gaudentis: Genre Conventions and Lyricism in Latin Occasional Poetry in 18th-Century Lithuania

The presentation will examine the representations of author's individual expression in Latin occasional poetry in 18th-century Lithuania. The authors of Latin literature of this period, which was based on Jesuit humanistic teaching, were attentive to form. They had to be well acquainted with the works of ancient Greek and Roman authors and, applying the rules of rhetoric and poetics, imitate them and use literary topoi and mythological realities, etc. According to the concept of modesty and the tradition of concealing authorship that was present at the time, the works were often signed on behalf of a religious order. Therefore, the question arises as to how and to what extent a poet could express personal joy or sadness in a text constrained by cultural traditions, genre conventions and rules of rhetoric. The research revealed that the author of the work manifested his emotional relationship with the person to whom, or event to which, the work was dedicated by employing important images of origin (the legend of the Lithuanian forefather Palemonas, the story of duke Gediminas, the founder of Vilnius), as well as ancient Greek and Roman mythological plots and allusions, creating original metaphors and accurate comparisons. With regard to funeral poetry, it should be noted that the scale of individual expression in the texts written in the 16th and 18th centuries varied. If in the 16th century funeral poetry was dedicated to a deceased classmate or friend, in the 18th century the dedication was exclusively to church leaders and noblemen.

Aušra Jurgutiene (Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore): Adam Mickiewicz in the Search for Lithuanian National Identity

The influence of Mickiewicz’s poetry on the formation of Lithuanian national identity in the 19th century and even up to the middle of the 20th century is undoubtedly one of the greatest. In this paper, I discuss what Mickiewicz meant to Lithuanian writers of the Neo-romantic period (1904-1940), who tried to combine the traditions of Romanticism, folklore and Modernism and present the idea of catching up with Europe in a Lithuanian manner. Poetry and other books by Mickiewicz helped Lithuanian writers and cultural theorists form the concept of “a Lithuanian manner” or national identity. Under the influence of Mickiewicz Lithuanian Neo-romantics (M. K. Čiurlionis, S. Šalkauskis, V. Mykolaitis-Putinas, V. Krėvė, M. Pečkauskaitė, J. Tumas-Vaižgantas, B. Sruoga, V. Mačernis) and even those who were not “true Lithuanians”, such as French Symbolist Oscar Miłosz and Polish poet Czesław Miłosz, revived the vision of a mystical Lithuania in their works. For this reason Lithuanians have no epic works, although they do have a lyric poetry specific to Lithuanians. Adopting Mickiewicz’s ideas from his “Mythologie lituanienne” lecture and from other texts, Stasys Šalkauskis elaborated the conception according to which a cultural synthesis of East and West imbues the specific shape of Lithuanian culture. In Mickiewicz’s works he found that “the man of the West meets the man of the East” and a significant idea of cultural synthesis. And Mickiewicz himself was the best example of such a synthesis. Interpretations of Lithuanian national identity taken over from Mickiewicz and the tradition of lyric poetry were important throughout the entire period of the Soviet occupation and even after the restoration of independence, until they were more critically re-evaluated by Tomas Venclova and other intellectuals.

Ave Mattheus (Tallinn University), Pauls Daija (Riga): The Reception of Christian Felix Weiße's Poetry in Estonia and Latvia

The formation of Estonian and Latvian poetry in the 18th century is closely bound with German poetry. In our paper we examine one early and important line of poetic influence, specifically translations and adaptions of poetry by German Enlightenment poet, writer and pedagogue Christian Felix Weiße (1726-1804) into Estonian and Latvian. In both literary cultures Weiße stands at the very beginning of secular lyric poetry.

The reception of Weiße’s poetry in Latvian literature comes earlier, and is wider and more compact than in Estonian literature, where it is fragmented and also partly still anonymous. Despite this, the reception in both literatures is similar, consisting mainly of translations and adaptions of Weiße’s arias (songs) in the comic operas by German composer Johann Adam Hiller.

In Latvian literature, Weiβe’s poems were translated by initiator of Latvian secular literature Gotthard Friedrich Stender and published in his collection Jaunas Siņģes (New Songs, 1774, 1783, 1789). This was the first book of secular poetry in Latvian and included translations of works by more than 20 German poets. Stender translated 12 poems by Weiβe, usually adapting and modifying the contents in order to make the texts more accessible to Latvian readers. He generally chose poems from Hiller’s and Weiβe’s comic operas “Die Jagd” (1770), “Der Aerntekranz” (1772), “Die Liebe auf dem Lande” (1768) et al.

The reception of Weiße’s poems in Estonia began in 1779, when the publisher, physician and writer Johann Friedrich Ernst Albrecht published the poetry collection Ehstländische poetische Blumenlese für das Jahr 1779, which included three Estonian songs in addition to German songs. Two of these Estonian songs are from the Hiller and Weiße comic opera “Die Jagd”. The third song is also opera aria-like, but its origin is unknown, as is the name of the translator of three Estonian songs. Furthermore, Weiße’s poems were translated by Gustav Adolph Oldekop.

In our paper, we analyse different strategies that Estonian and Latvian authors used in translating and adapting Weiße’s poems. They vary from exact translation of meaning and form (e.g. Oldekop) to modifying original texts (e.g. Stender). We also explore the main themes in those of Weiβe’s poems selected for translation by Estonian and Latvian authors: the idealisation of peasant and rural topics, as well as the sensual, at times even erotic, motifs of love lyrics. These themes were new to Estonian and Latvian poetry and were selected because they fit in the program of peasant enlightenment in the Baltics, especially that of edifying the feelings of the peasantry through song.

Beata Paskevica (National Library of Latvia): The Poetic Heritage of Friedrich Bernhard Blaufuß, a Rediscovered Pietistic Poet

The rediscovered poems of Friedrich Bernhard Blaufuß, a pastor of the St Jacob’s church in Riga, introduce the name of a hitherto unknown poet to the somewhat sparsely populated Baltic German and Latvian poetic scene of the mid-18th century. I have recently discovered the manuscript of a poem titled “Liefländisches Denkmal bestehend in einem Ruhm des Werkes Gottes welches sich Anno 1738. in Erweckung einer Menge Ehstnischer und Lettischer Bauern im Herzogthum Liefland zu deren ungeheuchelten Bekehrung und seligen Herzens= und Lebens=Veränderung hervorgethan, und jedermänniglich bekant, ja weltkündig geworden; wegen der davon ausgestreuten Unwahrheiten und falschen Berichten, nach desselben wahren Begebenheit und eigentlichen Beschaffenheit, in gebundenen Zeilen von einem unpartheyischen Augenzeugen aufgesetzt 1753” (‘The Monument of Livonia’ in short), in the author’s own handwriting, held in the Latvian State Historical Archive, and a later copy of the same poem kept in the Unitätsarchiv in Herrnhut. In the history of Baltic German, Latvian, and Estonian culture and literature, it is a hitherto unknown epic poem that speaks of contemporary events in Livonia. The poem can be seen as a rhymed chronicle dealing with the Pietist and Herrnhutian missionary work in the Latvian and Estonian parts of Livonia. Blaufuß is also the presumed author of some lyrics to church songs in Latvian. According to Johann Christoph Brotze, several further poems in German should be attributed to the hand of Blaufuß, including an epic poem about the life of Herrnhutian missionary Christian David. In my talk, I will attempt to introduce the poetic work of Friedrich Bernhard Blaufuß. The long poem “Monument of Livonia” will be compared with Blaufuß’ first historical prose work in Latvian, Vidzemes stāsti (‘Tales of Vidzeme’).

Devika Singh Shekhawat (Ambedkar University Delhi): Lyrical Poetry, Folk Music, Colonialism and the Working Class. Tracing the History and Memory of Migration of the Tea Plantation Workers in Assam through Jhumur Folk Songs

Through my research paper I wish to look at and trace the history of migration of tea plantation workers and the role of the migrant population in shaping the histories, literature and cultures that can be seen in Jhumur songs and performances. I intend to explore how the memory, history and identity of the working class are kept alive through Jhumur music, songs, oral histories and testimonies of the tea plantation workers.

The Jhumur songs and poems of the Assam Tea tribes have often told the story of tea plantation workers, their history, their relation to the work they do and to the state of Assam. They are a form of lyrical poetry and a folk music genre that explores the dynamics of the system of colonial control and exploitation in the tea plantations of Assam through the memory of migration of indentured labour and the nature of work in the system of planter raj during the colonial era. It engages with the history of the workers in the tea plantations of Assam, which has been long forgotten. Through my research I would like to tell the story of Assam Tea and the Assam Tea plantation worker as remembered in the lyrical poetry of Jhumur Songs. I intend to study the labour history of tea plantations in Assam, tracing its origins from colonial administration to understand how the memory lives on with the tea tribes of Assam. I wish to understand the gendered dimension of this history and analyse how the female worker is placed in history and memory. Through my research I wish to engage in the critical historical engendering of the economic, political and cultural dynamics associated with the production of Assam Tea. I would like to understand how oral narratives have lived on in the present day and how authorship, circulation, distribution and performance of Jhumur songs shapes memory and identity and the field of cultural formation.

Jhumur songs confront the global structure of colonialism and indentured labour through the very local formations of experience and keep alive the memory of migration and exploitation. For example the Jhumur song “Chol Mini Assam Jabo”, which traces the journey, life and experiences of the working class, has become a statement in popular culture with famous Assamese music composers and singers such as Bhupen Hazarika singing renditions of the song and the Adivasi youth from the tea tribe community remixing the song and uploading it on different music streaming sites. Similarly “Axom Deshe Bagisare Sowali” from the 1974 movie Sameli Memsahib and the Jhumur song “Ranchi Che Bhejar Kuli” collected by cultural activist and poet Kali Dagupta in the 1960s have also been able to mark their place in the digital realm through archiving projects or by finding a place in various remixes and multiple covers by song artists. The memory, history and literature of the working class lives through these new archives and the digitisation of Jhumur songs. Oral tradition finds a way to survive and live in digital formulations. Through the paper I will trace social, economic and the cultural politics in the history of the migration of tea plantation workers. My attempt to trace the history of migration through lyrical poetry, people’s stories, folktales, music, folk songs and dances would be an attempt at the production of knowledge of the voices and narratives of the working class, whom mainstream history and contemporary hegemony silences, while acknowledging the difficult questions of representation, reality and ethics that a construction of marginalised narratives entails. My work aims to apprehend and analyse the social, economic and political forces and dynamics that produce the fractured positionality of tea plantation workers in Assam. My study would be an exercise in reconstituting, imagining and producing an understanding of the ‘past’ in a process of engagement with Jhumur songs, memory and migration.

Edlira Macaj (University of Tirana): Missing Poetry (Textbooks on the History of Albanian Literature During the Dictatorship Period)

The Paper aims at a panoramic view of the issues of partial representation of Albanian poetry in the texts of the history of Albanian literature published during the dictatorship period.

The object of the paper is the fragmentary presentation of Albanian poetry and poets in informative texts about literature, highlighting the complications and problems derived by this one-sided representation. Readers were only told about the poetry and poets excluded from such scholarly textbooks after the fall of the regime, information that changed Albanian literary values.

It is, therefore, appropriate to raise some research questions: what happened to the institutional representative texts that excluded various authors, especially poets? How many of them were dismissed, censored, imprisoned, and unpublished, and why? What kind of literary value emphasized such representative texts? How did the reversal and restoration of missing poetry reveal its value after the '90s?

These questions lead us to claim that only thanks to political change and awareness of real literary values can today’s reader piece together the puzzle of missing poets and poetry in Albanian literature. If their contribution hadn’t become known, revealed, re-discovered, reconsidered, etc., Albanian literature would lack the kernel of its poetry, its identity.

The methodology relies on a historical, analytical, comparative, and critical approaches to the most representative authors and texts, intertwined with factual data.

The conclusions reinforce the idea that any evaluation of literature dictated by extra-literary factors has a pejorative influence on the natural literary process of creation and its evaluation. The revitalisation after the ’90s, although with much delay, restored the natural process of aesthetic literary assessment of Albanian poetry during the regime. Now we can reassess the best part of it, that missing poetry.

Ewa A. Lukaszyk (Poland, independent researcher): Collective Awareness and Lyric Poetry: The Emergence of Creole Literary Culture in the Archipelago of São Tomé and Príncipe

The ethnic origin of the population inhabiting the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe is complex. There are several groups, such as the descendants of West African slaves, called Angolars, as well as the so-called Forros, descendants of the Portuguese and some privileged Africans, often independent slave traders. Each of these groups differs by its linguistic expression and collective memory, partially transmitted orally (mostly in the case of Angolars). Another group, that emerged during the colonial period are the so-called Tongas, the descendants of resettled workers brought by the Portuguese administration in order to foster profitable agriculture based on coffee and cocoa. Already during the colonial period, the dominant group of Creole forros, together with some Portuguese settlers, had the ambition of creating an autonomous literary culture expressing the character of the archipelago. After the independence of the country, this tradition of sophisticated literacy – comparable to that of Cape Verde, also fostered by an ambitious Creole middle class – finds a continuation in the lyrical poetry of Conceição Lima. At the beginning of the 21st century, she gives a critical, yet deeply personal, eminently feminine voice to the history of the islands.

Eve Annuk (Estonian Literary Museum, Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies): Poetry and/as/in graffiti

Graffiti is a social phenomenon that is mainly connected with urban space. As a form of representation, it can range from being street art to just a scribble on a wall. Graffiti can consist of visual imagery or textual pieces, or it can combine them both. Textual graffiti can range from ‘urban poetry’ to just a sequence of meaningless words. References to literature are an important aspect of textual graffiti. Authors of graffiti use a lot of references to works and authors of literature, both internationally known and Estonian. But authors of textual graffiti also create their own (literary) messages and are therefore trying to create an aesthetic space where they can play with metaphors and multiple meanings. These can be understood as poetic and sometimes lyrical modes of expression. The paper will deal with the questions of whether textual graffiti can be understood as poetic text, and how poetry and lyrical expression can be understood in the context of textual graffiti. The analysis is based on source material from the database of graffiti created by Estonian Literary Museum consisting of more than 800 representations.

Francesca Manzari (Aix-Marseille University): Provençal Lyric Poetry at the Court of Frederic II Holy Roman Emperor

The paper will deal with Babelic multilingualism at the Palermitan court of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, a place well known for being the “cultural laboratory of the 13th century”. For the myth of Italian identity, the moment in which several poets gather around Frederick II is a turning point: the emperor himself, his sons the kings Enzo and Manfredi, Pier della Vigna, Jacopo da Lentini, Guido delle Colonne, Rinaldo d’Aquino, Giacomino Pugliese restyle the canons of Provençal and German lyric poetry. The troubadours’ and the Minnesingers’ songs are newly played in Sicily and fashion a new way of composing lyrical poetry in vernacular Italian. The Provençal troubadour’s identity, which is one with Provençal birds’ songs and is called Trobar, is translated into the Palermitan reality of the first half of the 13th century. Singing love becomes a way to belong to southern cultures as they live together in Palermo: the Sicilian, the Arabic, the Jewish and the Christian. Lyrical poetry allows these different cultures to interpenetrate around the figure of the Emperor, Frederick II. This is also because these cultures recognise a common philosophical source, Aristotle’s De Anima, which had been translated from ancient Greek into Arabic and studied in Palermo. The text happens to be easily welcomed in lyrical early Italian poetry. This is the beginning of lyrical Italian poetry and the place where a long cultural tradition starts, one that will lead to Cavalcanti’s and Dante’s poetry.

Francis Jones (Newcastle University): Teams Translating Lyric Poetry: What is Their Working Culture?

A poetry translation should “match the original” closely enough to “be considered a translation”, but it should also be a target-language poem, as James Holmes put it. With many of the world’s source languages, there are too few ‘solo’ poetry translators: people who can read source-language poems and turn them into target-language poetry. So good poets often lack translators. One solution is collaborative translation. A bilingual expert, for instance, can talk through a source poem with a target-language poet, who writes the translation. Sometimes, in a so-called poettrio, the source poet joins them to explain the source poem’s inspiration, allusions and poetics.

This paper asks what the working culture, i.e. the norms, values and beliefs, of such collaborative poetry translators might be. What do they believe a good translation to be, for instance? And how far do their working practices reflect their beliefs?

Collaborative translation happens often enough, I argue, for it to form a field in Bourdieu’s sense. This I conceive as a large, loose network of practitioners who negotiate and uphold a shared habitus of attitudes, working norms and practices. Many collaborative translators (or even most, as in the poet+linguist+poet poettrio) come from a poetry-writing rather than a translating background. So is their habitus more that of the poet? Or more that of the poetry translator? And why?

I explore these questions by looking at two datasets. The main dataset comes from two four-day workshops that involved three Dutch poets, three British poets, and three Dutch-English translators in various poettrio combinations. Translating processes were videoed, and participants were interviewed after each working day. I then compare findings with my own published studies examining the attitudes, working norms and practices of solo translators.

Gitana Vanagaitė (Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore): Avant-Garde and Subject in Lithuanian, Estonian and Latvian Literatures

The early 20th century avant-garde radically changed art forms and ways of expression. However, the most important innovation was the fusion of various art forms and the introduction of ideograms into poetry, which with the publication of Guillaume Apollinaire’s poetry book Calligrammes in 1918, incorporating poetry and painting, assumed the common name of a calligram and was proclaimed the greatest avant-garde fusion project. The automatic writing of poetry, praised by Tomaso Marinetti, Italian poet and ideological leader of Futurism, the graphic look of the poem, which contained various typographical techniques, gave new and unexpected results, expanding the semantic scheme of the poem. These things, alien to poetry in the past, renewed poetry in a radical way.

From the very beginning, avant-garde poetry denied subjectivism, or the lyrical experience of the human being: “Enough of saccharined hearts”, the most famous Lithuanian avant-garde poet Kazys Binkis noted. The famous poets of the Estonian avant-garde, active in the 1920s – Johannes Vares-Barbarus, Johannes Semper and Marie Under – also refused traditionally understood lyricism. An association of young Latvian avant-garde artists, Green Flower (Latvian: Zaļā puķe), which was active between 1914 and 1919, and its representatives Jāzeps Grosvalds, Alexander Drevin, Karlis Johansons, Valdemars Tone and Konrads Ubāns, promoted similar ideas and radical new forms.

The presentation will ask why Lithuanian, Estonian and Latvian avant-garde poets, who denied subjectivity and lyricism, could not avoid them in their poetry; and what place the innovative expression of lyricism occupies in the history of literature.

Heinrich Detering (Seminar für Deutsche Philologie, Göttingen University): “This Land Is Your Land”: America as a Nation of “Varied Carols”

Modern American literature starts with the sound of voices singing: “I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear”. It is Walt Whitman who begins one of his most popular poems with this line, referring to the voices of people from all generations, classes and ethnic backgrounds who are about to form a new type of nation, a nation beyond ethnicity based on the principles of democracy and diversity alone. Against this background of listening to the countless different voices, his equally famous poem “America” reads like a personal and individual answer: “Centre of equal daughters, equal sons, / All, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old, / Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich”. Whitman’s poetry lays out the foundation for a specifically American tradition of song poetry that focuses on political equality and social justice as collective human rights and the free development of every person’s individuality at the same time. My talk will follow the line from Whitman’s poetry of songs to 20th century American song poetry, by the way of the example of Woody Guthrie’s anthem “This Land Is Your Land” and its transformative receptions in Bob Dylan’s and Bruce Springsteen’s adaptations (in contrast to the way in which European national anthems conceive the nation-as-territory).

Ioana Cosma (University of Pitesti): The Waste Land as Magic Incantation: The Poet as Trickster

The Waste Land (1922) is considered one of High Modernism’s Ur-texts, an essential reference to understanding that time and TS Eliot’s poetics. Yet, the text is notoriously difficult to read and interpret, as we can grasp from most of its commentators who, while making some effort at elucidating it, ultimately fail, and admit as much. The difficulty comes mainly from the abundance of literary references, quotations and allusions in the text, for which Eliot even provided a reference list. This has led some critics to embark on the daunting quest of detailing all those references or merely disparaging them as irrelevant, as Eliot himself implied. It would be counter-productive to ignore these references, be this only because they make up a substantial part of the text itself, but equally futile to try to solve them as though they were pieces of a puzzle. This is impossible mainly because of Modernism’s poetics characterised by fragmentation, ambiguity and indeterminacy, collage, palimpsestic vision, collapse of the unity and of significance, and even self-irony directed at the possibility of extracting a single interpretation out of any one literary utterance. These elements play an important role in understanding Eliot’s poetry, although they leave us with very little as concerns his originality, voice and scope. I argue that the presence of intertextuality in Eliot’s poem is an attempt to draw a parallel (secret) history of the Western world exposing its unconscious content, while at the same time providing a poetic incantation – a sort of magic trick – by which the poet could deliver the wretched humanity presented in his poem from the doom and gloom in which it was cast from the beginning.

Janika Päll (University of Tartu): Forms of Ancient Greek and Latin Poetry Translated into Modern Estonian Lyric: Challenges of Metre

My paper will focus on the role of ancient poetry in shaping Estonian poetic tradition, focusing on the choices of using or not using ancient metres, regarding this as a challenge that helps to create Estonian poetry. Initially a short typology of the authors and works influenced by the classical tradition (from Käsu Hans in 1708 to Mats Traat in 2021) will be presented, indicating the patterns for meeting or not meeting the challenge of metrics and the connection of these choices to the activities of the authors as translators of ancient poetry. Then I will focus on the case study of Kristian Jaak Peterson. In this, I will discuss why the  classification ‘odes in free verse’ has been preferred to the much more exact ‘dithyrambs/Paeans in Greek lyric metres’ in the discussion of some of his original works throughout Estonian literary history. I will seek to demonstrate that the main reason for this choice can initially be found in the preferences of the new nationalistically minded generations of Estonian poets from the beginning of the 20th century who wished to shape new Estonian poetry, which is both modern and original. The reason why this understanding still prevails among post-Soviet generations might be in the changed education principles that challenge both ancient and modern traditions.

Joanny Moulin (Aix-Marseille University): Three Post-National Lyrical Voices

The Scotsman Robert Burns (1759-1796), the Irishman William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), the Saint Lucian Derek Walcott (1930-2017) are three lyrical poets who have become icons of their nations, and of whom it might be said that their poetic careers were made possible, or more exactly, were made, by their nations. Each of these poets, the latter two Nobel prize winners, metamorphosed himself by a process that has everything to do with the phoenix-like production of spiritual life from natural life in Hegel’s philosophy, into a conceptual personage that is a figurehead, an emblem, an embodiment of the nation of which the poet is the voice. The life of the poet, of which the voice is the trace and the token, bears witness to the life of the nation, showing that the nation lives indeed. And yet all three are controversial figures, and none of them wrote in their national tongue; all three lived in a historical situation of the colonial erasure and postcolonial resurgence of their nations. Burns was an antithetic character in 18th-century Scotland, a supporter of the French revolution writing in a prefiguration of what Hugh McDiarmid would call “synthetic scotch”, which nobody spoke, even if it is universally understood. Yeats was an ‘ascendancy’ Irishman, descended from 17th-century English settlers, writing in English a poetry that drew its inspiration from Celtic mythology as well as Japanese theatre. Derek Walcott eschewed the creole to address an international audience, and is typical of Glissant’s “pensée archipélique” who dreams the Caribbean Sea as a modern remake of the Aegean, sustaining a disseminated, syncretic vision of a post-national age. This contribution would examine the paradox of these latter-day figures of national poets reaching out beyond their nations who became voices of world literature.

Joosep Susi (University of Tartu,Tallinn University): Withdrawal of Autonomy: The Challenges of Lyricism in Estonian poetry 1986–1996

The last significant shift in Estonian poetry took place in the late 1980s and early 1990s when poetry reacted extremely quickly to socio-political and technological processes. The poetry of this time is frequently characterised by fierce experimentality, for example postmodernist text strategies emerged and conceptual games and new forms of literature developed, while a schizophrenic sense of time and space became a basic condition for the construction of a poetic subject in many poetry collections. The aesthetics of the poetry of the period could be considered a kind of micromodel of broader tendencies (poetry is noticeably synchronous with social processes). This is especially evident in the grasp of media and genre boundaries, which in turn gradually shook the understanding of how to write poetry and what the archetype of a poem is in the so-called collective literary consciousness. In the presentation my aim is to highlight three larger tendencies in Estonian poetry between 1986 and 1996: use of language (language experiments, multiplicity of registers, the decline of a standardised written language, the influence of foreign languages, polyphony), lyric subject (conceptual mask game, the importance of media images, tension between the empirical author and the lyric subject) and intertextuality (intense communication with different periods and different types of text network). Concentrating on some of the most prominent poets of the time (for example Kalev Kesküla, Kivisildnik, Hasso Krull, Elo Viiding) I consider the described categories in the context of four prototypical features of lyric poetry, immersion, subjectivity, lyric time and space, and performativity. In doing so I look at how the autonomy of lyric poetry changed and what these changes say about lyricism.

Julia Holter (Institut des Textes et Manuscrits Modernes, Paris): How is Lyric Poetry, Carrier of Strong National Cultural Principles, Translated and Received: The Case of Alexander Pushkin in France

Russia’s finest lyric poet, Alexander Pushkin, a nation-unifying hero, undeconstructable, in the Derridean sense – almost every Russian literary and political movement has claimed him as their own – has proven to be a difficult export. Though Pushkin's novels have been widely translated, his work is probably best known through Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky and Rimski-Korsakov’s operas. As Jean Cocteau stated, "It is the Pushkin phenomenon that cannot be communicated in any language other than his own. His charm works its magic on Russians, whoever they may be. Such worship can be based only on music, and since the meaning of it comes to us bland, some witchcraft must therefore be involved. I attribute it to a drop of black blood he had in his veins. Pushkin's drum speaks. You may change the strike, all that's left is the drum."

Indeed, it’s not enough to present to the world Russia’s “national poet” and claim that he has his place alongside Shakespeare and Goethe. An extraordinary reading pleasure must confirm the announced genius. It is clear that translation difficulties partially explain the indifference of the reception, but it would be abusive to attribute full responsibility to them: Several excellent translations have appeared in recent decades in English and French, each one superseding and/or completing the previous ones. In France particularly, the extraordinary translations and pedagogical effort of André Markowicz have been widely acclaimed, but the interest they raised was only short-lived. The gulf between the lasting adulation Russians have for their national poet and the relative indifference with which he is received abroad remains a subject of astonishment. Several excellent intercultural and interlinguistic explanations have been given (such as the impossibility of appreciating Pushkin’s modernity and the ‘national’ character of his genius). Could it be that unifying values (or perhaps unifying needs), and not the poetry itself, are what ultimately remain ‘untranslatable’ from one nation to another?

Kairit Kaur (University of Tartu, Tallinn University Academic Library): "The Seasons" by James Thomson, and Baltic German Poetry about the Seasons

We Estonians consider ourselves a nation of sea and forest with a profound love of nature. Authors who write and talk about nature, for example Jaan Kaplinski, Valdur Mikita, Hendrik Relve and Fred Jüssi, are widely read and heard and highly appreciated. But a heightened attention to nature can be found in the literary works of this region before the emergence of Estonian national literature in the poems and lyric prose of Baltic German authors. Researching the Baltic German reception of English poetry in Estonia, one text, "The Seasons" by James Thomson, appears again and again in different editions and adaptions. It belongs to the most often received works of English lyric poetry among Baltic Germans (Kaur 2018: 375). In my paper, I would like to take a closer look at how the Baltic Germans approached this work and their own handling of the topic of the seasons in the era of the Baltic Enlightenment (ca 1740-1840).

Karolina Bagdonė (Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore, Vilnius University): World Literature and Mythology: Guarantees of the Freedom of Man and Nation in Sigitas Geda's Poetry

Sigitas Geda was one of the most rebellious and talented Lithuanian poets of the 20th century. He opposed Homo Sovieticus culture and, like Marcelijus Martinaitis, Judita Vaiciunaite, Jonas Juskaitis and other poets of his generation, continued the romantic tradition of the folk poet. They were looking for a more authentic relationship with the history of the nation, mythology, and World Literature. Even under Soviet censorship their poetry was published in extremely high volume and established a vital aesopic discourse. This discourse educated free-thinking reader and thus created an alternative to the Communist Party's daily newspaper Pravda.

Sigitas Geda's poetry (“Footprints” (1966), “The Thrush” (1967), “The Flowering Plum-Tree in Snaigynas Lake” (1981), and “The Homeland of the Mammoths” (1985)) was exceptional because it inherited the intertextuality of World Literature from the works of Lithuanian exile poets and, in addition, Eduardas Miezelaitis, who had previously won the Lenin Prize for literature. Geda's poetry reoriented this inheritance from communist ideology to mythology. He sought a basis of archetypal meanings and images that could liberate and integrate occupied Lithuanian identity with other cultures.

I will examine why the shift away from the stylisation of folklore towards a mythological context was important for the most progressive poets of the time and what it meant. I will use a modernised approach to comparative literature (Marco Juvan, Gérard Genette, Nijole Kaselioniene) to discuss how the intertextuality of Geda's poetry was anchored in European democratic values. I also note how poetry was used to resist Soviet ideology. My analysis will show the effect of World Literature and mythology on the construction of existential, national, and European identities and their images in Lithuanian poetry during the second part of the 20th century.

Katiliina Gielen (University of Tartu): Late and Lyrical Auden in Estonia

Most of W. H. Auden’s poetry bears evidence of his very personal struggles with sexuality and religion. In his love poems Auden commonly hides the gender of the lover or the object of admiration from the reader. Although his love poetry can be read as universal, there are subtle hints of same-sex love in form of connotations, collocations (or their absence), intertextual references and the like.

Auden is present in Estonia through a small booklet of selected poems by Märt Väljataga (“39 luuletust ja 5 esseed” (1912)) and some more renderings in the literary magazine Vikerkaar. Such a slight presence is somewhat surprising given the status and popularity of Auden in general. Estonian lacks the category of grammatical gender, so Auden’s poetry comes over very similarly to the original, avoiding explicit mention of gender. However, Estonian Auden also avoids the subtle hints of sexuality, making Auden a true love poet.

Through a case study of Auden, I will enquire into the role of gender and sexuality in the Estonian poetry translation canon asking what fits and how.

Katre Talviste (University of Tartu): Does Poetry Have to Make Sense and What Makes Sense in Poetry? Kreutzwald’s Reading of Koidula’s Poems

In 1867, the Estonian poetess Koidula (1843–1886) published her second book Emajõe ööbik, a collection of patriotic poems, which almost instantly became an iconic text for the national awakening movement. Soon after she initiated a correspondence with Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald, who was, by that time, already a great authority in matters of Estonian language and culture and author of the epic Kalevipoeg. At the very beginning of their exchanges, in the winter and spring of 1868, Koidula’s book of poetry was at the centre of their correspondence. Kreutzwald commented on the poems almost line by line, explaining how various linguistic aspects, the vocabulary and the resulting images influenced the aesthetic accomplishment and suggestive power of a poem. He recognised Koidula’s accomplishments and criticised less fortunate turns of phrase and verse.

I shall re-examine this episode in Koidula and Kreutzwald’s correspondence to see how it reflects Kreutzwald’s concept of lyrical poetry, a mode of expression rather marginal in his own work and its reception. His observations about Koidula’s verse, vocabulary and poetic figures are clearly motivated by his broader sociocultural agenda, including concerns about systematic development of the Estonian language, although he rarely fails to demonstrate the relevance of these contextual and general linguistic issues on the most detailed level of figurative logic and poetic effect. By editing and occasionally partly rewriting Koidula’s poems he outlines his own ideal of poetry, which needs to fully function on numerous levels of form and meaning-making. For Kreutzwald the key to success lies in recognising and discarding dysfunctional elements for the sake of the text as a whole, no matter how well intentioned or conventionally expected each of them individually may be.

Kristi Viiding (Under and Tuglas Literature Center of the Estonian Academy of Sciences): 1648: Joachim Rachel's Turn in Early Modern Humanist Poetry in Livonia

The important milestones in the functioning and spread of poetic culture are (1) the transition from the oral to the written form, and (2) in the case of the written form, from single poem to collecting and publishing many poems together. When defining a collection of poems as a book or booklet of at least two or more poems by one or more authors with a common title page, and excluding single-page folio-format publications with a few poems, as well as liminal poems to accompany a book of some other content and function, the history of collections of secular poetry in Livonia started with occasional poems by several authors for a specific event. Despite the fact that the first Livonian printing house opened in Riga in 1588, the first printed collection of poetry was published only in 1599, for the wedding of representatives of the Lithuanian nobility Leo Sapieha and Elisabeth Radziwill. The collection contained poems by Polish and Lithuanian officials active in Livonia, and by native Livonian David Hilchen. The collection ran to nine poems in total. The first opera omnia of a local author followed in 1614-1615, a three-volume posthumous collection of occasional poems by the Prussian-Livonian humanist Daniel Hermann. The opening of printing houses in Tartu and Tallinn in the 1630s led to an increase in the number of collections of occasional poetry by many authors, so that the publication of printed poems became a customary practice for writers and an expected practice for the readers.

So far, an important milestone has been overlooked in the study of Estonian and Livonian early modern poetry, that of the publication of the first collection of poetry outside the context of occasional poetry: Centuria epigrammatum (‘One Hundred Epigrams’, Reval 1648) by the later German satirist Joachim Rachel (1618-1669), who was Hofmeister to Estonian and Livonian noble families in the 1640s and briefly studied at the Academy of Tartu. The reason for this is understandable – it was long thought to be lost (most recently Klöker 2005, vol. 2, p. 383). Yet, the recently digitised copy of this book in the Austrian National Library enables us to record the turning point in the literary history of Estonia and Livonia as 1648. The publication of the poetry collection did not require a public event, or collective authorship, rather it came from a single poet ‘poetising’ his ideas, experiences and knowledge. In this presentation I will introduce Rachel's poetry collection in more detail focusing on two aspects of the collection: the reception of antiquity and his contribution to the ‘Tartu discourse’.

Laure Zarif Keyrouz (University of Nova Gorica, Campus Ciels of Padova): Sewing Together the Fragmented Identity Found in the Poetry of Etel Adnan and Najwa M. Barakat’s Novel Mr Noun (2019)

This paper will examine contemporary Lebanese cultural identity through the works of two prominent Lebanese writers: Etel Adnan and Najwa M. Barakat. Etel Adnan’s poetry expresses a sense of fragmented identity, as she weaves a cross-cultural tapestry through the use of the symbols of death, time, mobility and exile in her poetry books Le 27 Octobre 2003 (2008), Time (2019), and Night (2016). These elements will be compared to the cultural representation found in the main character of Mr Noun, written in Arabic by Najwa Barakat and translated recently into French by Philippe Vigreux, under the title Monsieur N. The complicated situation in which Najwa Barakat finds herself in particular in a Beirut marked by post-civil war and political unrest and economic turmoil, is described through the verses of Adnan and the movements of Barakat’s main title character, Mr Noun, as he comes into contact with all of the victims of the world in the poor quarters of Beirut. Barakat and Adnan bring this new sort of cultural tapestry to light, stitching together ideas concerning Lebanese identity through the intertwining of references to the past with the realities of today. An analysis of Barakat's lyrical Arabic novel and Adnan's poetry will lead us to the discovery of how the construction of these contemporary works and their particular symbols and references contribute to the consolidation of a unified Lebanese identity. The two authors live out their separate identities while taking part in this larger collective identity, thus enabling them to describe the indescribable: what it means to be Lebanese today.

Lauri Pilter (University of Tartu): Model Tegnér&Kivi: Romantic Poets in Epic Form of Nordic Countries and Estonia’s Classical Dialect Poetry

The poetic heights of the literatures of Sweden and Finland of the age of Romanticism, now regrettably in oblivion, have seemed unattainable ideals to Estonian literati since the time of Juhan Liiv, who admiringly wrote about Esaias Tegnér, the Swedish national skald, in his poem “Björnsonile” (1897). From Finland, the novel Seitsemän veljestä (‘Seven Brothers’) by Aleksis Kivi, the founder of literature in Finnish, has inspired generations of Estonians, becoming part of their native culture, since the publication of its first Estonian translation in 1924. Tegnér is primarily known for his long epic poem Frithiof’s saga. But both these epic literary giants, Swedish and Finnish, were also talented lyric poets, writing poems the lyricism of which is evident in the most sublime passages of their epic works. This paper discusses the way in which truly great writers are inspiring both epically and lyrically, and observes the reasons literature in Estonian seems always to have fallen short of its Nordic models. “Let there be a clear division – our school is beyond the gulf”. Thus Juhan Liiv in his fragment “German poetry”, referring to his conviction that Estonian writers should first and foremost look for their models in the literature of Finland. The translator of Aleksis Kivi’s poems into Estonian, the Estonian poet Debora Vaarandi, has said that for her, the most beautiful of Kivi’s poems is the one incorporated into his novel describing Eero’s wife, Anna, the housewife of Seunala, chanting a Finnic lullaby to her infant. The passage includes short rhymed verses surrounded by lyrical prose of nature and gentle human feelings, worded with biblical beauty. The Swedish romantic is the strongest in the expression of human drama. Aleksis Kivi’s Finnish adds an aesthetic autonomy of the representation of nature.

Liina Lukas (University of Tartu): In a Miracle Wellspring of Goethe's Poetry: Comments on the Role of Translated Poetry in a Small Literature

In 1944, on the cusp of one occupying power replacing another in Estonia, the beloved Estonian poet Heiti Talvik translated Goethe’s poetry and was filled with admiration: “What a youthful abundance of life in every detail! Yes, to delve into Goethe’s work is to rinse your eyes in a miracle wellspring capable of renewing your fading vision.”

By then, the Estonian language and Estonian poetry had already been drawing from this miracle wellspring for more than a century. In this presentation, I will be discussing the significance of Goethe’s poetry in Estonian literature and comparing it to that of small and large literatures of neighbouring countries. Based on research I conducted with my co-authors Vahur Aabrams and Susanna Rennik for our recently published book Goethe’s Poetry in Estonian (Tartu University Press, 2021), I will show the dynamics of the reception and translation of Goethe’s poetry in Estonia and in the wider Baltic cultural space, and I will explore the local socio-cultural and more general aesthetic and ideological factors that influenced this reception.

Lora Tamošiūnienė (Mykolas Romeris University): Lyric Poetry Translation in a Translation Class

The presentation will focus on a literary text translation class as a case study of building group consensus on what contemporary lyric poetry is. Bachelor students in translation and editing studies were asked to translate poetry from the Barbican young poets project (London, UK) with the aim of recognising the lyrical conveyance of young people`s identity. The translation reveals the work of reconstructing the message as well as the liberating effect on understanding and using language and poetic dictum, and on how the young translator`s ability to recognise intimations of lyrical revelations are developed. The translation of the Barbican young poets project in various forms has taken place over a period of 5 years at Mykolas Romeris University, Institute of Humanities. Often the project of translating lyric poetry highlights the need to change young translators’ attitude towards lyrical expression,  and to teach them new lyrical expression techniques, as they may have little preliminary experience in poetry reading. Subjecting one`s tongue to the rhythm, word choice and intimate experiences of the lyricism of another individual and culture is a challenging and not always welcome experience for a novice translator.

Māra Grudule (University of Latvia): The Turn from Song to Poetry in Latvian Literature in the Second Half of the 19th Century

One view of the Latvian nation is that it has traditionally been a singing nation, including playing its part in the Baltic Singing Revolution, in addition to other similar song and singing related references.

The origins of Latvian written culture are also related to song: the oldest known Christian song in Latvian, dating from 1530, is at the same time one of the oldest examples of written Latvian.

At the turn of the 19th century, in the age of the peasant Enlightenment, the religiously didactic and sentimental ziņģes, ‘songs’ (a term coined from the German singen ‘to sing’), compiled by German pastors earned great popularity among Latvians. They were accepted immediately, some of them were folklorised in the 19th century, and others are still sung today.

Songs and singing in the 19th century were so popular among Latvians that the composer and director of the teachers' seminary Jānis Cimze (1814-1881) indicated that “…books remain on the shelves of the lords and do not climb down to the ground because they lack ladders, they lack melodies that would take them down. A song without a melody is, for a peasant, like a body without a soul”.

In the second half of the 19th century, with the rise of the level of education among Latvians, the demand for solitary reading material increased. Alongside the song, the poetry acquired its permanent place as a text to contemplate and reflect upon. In addition to the well-known designations of rhythmic text genre, i.e. ziņģe, Atis Kronvalds created the concept of dzeja `poetry`, which he proposed was not melody-bound.

The paper will focus on the tuning point, the disengagement of the rhythmic text from the melody and how it establishes an independent poetic text that can be read in solitude and reflected upon. Focus will be on the possible reasons that caused this turn along with an analysis the landscape of Latvian lyric poetry 1850-1880.

Maria Einman (University of Tartu): The Lyric in Maurice Maeterlinck's First Plays: Shedding Light on the Unknown

In 1893, Hippolyte Lemaire notes in his review of Pelléas and Mélisande’s first performance: “the symbolists did not invent anything, because the symbolism (...) has always been at the foundation of poetry” (Le Monde illustré, May 27); and Maeterlinck himself affirms at the same time in Le Figaro that “the play must be above all a poem” (an interview given to Jules Huret, 1893). Indeed, if Pelléas and Mélisande did not fascinate the Parisian theatrical critics, it was because of drama's lack of dramatic elements and its shift towards the lyric. In fact, all the plays of the Maeterlinck's first theatre are characterised by an absence of a ‘classical’ plot: dramatic action and conflict are generally replaced by the representation(s) of the ‘states of the soul’ (états d'âme). The characters inhabit an undetermined world, being themselves like figures emerging from the fog, figures who speak a weird stammering language that gives birth to the strange images on the spectator's inner stage.

What is the ultimate goal of this “anti-dramatic” (or lyrical) transposition, if we leave aside Maeterlinck’s desire to renew the theatre? To answer this question, I will examine the lyrical dimension of his first plays in the light of his philosophy, strongly influenced by mysticism. If the lyric, among others, permits an escape from order and structure and thus “enables the poet to use his consciousness not as a means of shedding light on elements of external reality but of revealing itself” (Werner Wolf, The Lyric: Problems of Definitions and a Proposal for Reconceptualisation, 2005), Maeterlinck seems to use it to go even beyond consciousness. The aim of his “lyric theatre” is to reveal, “by an imperceptible shift of the usual perspective, the human being’s relations with the unknown” (interview to Huret, 1893) or with the transcendental dimension of existence.

Maria-Kristiina Lotman, Mihhail Lotman, Rebekka Lotman (University of Tartu): Reciprocal Reflection of Structure and Thematics in Estonian Poetry

The poetic texts are situated on a scale one end of which is marked with pure assertiveness and the other with pure iconicity. Pure assertiveness is characteristic of narrative and descriptive texts, while examples of pure iconicity can be found in visual poetry. Auto-meta-description adds another dimension here in which the verse structure and its content are in one way or another conscious and described.

The presentation provides a systematic overview of the mechanisms that describe auto-meta-descriptive mechanisms in Estonian poetry. Self-meta-description in the typographic, metric, architectonic, rhythmic and instrumentative structure of the Estonian verse will be studied separately.

Marin Laak (Estonian Literary Museum): The Reception of Betti Alver’s Poetry in Exile

Poetry has had a major role in Estonian folk culture, beginning with the thousand-year-old runo song tradition. The 19th century era of national awakening was significantly influenced by the folk epic, which has remained a force in maintaining national identity. From the fatherland poetry of the national awakening to 20th century poetic avant-gardism, women poets have played an important role in Estonian literary culture, for example Lydia Koidula, Marie Under, Viivi Luik, Ene Mihkelson, etc. In my presentation, I will examine the reception of one of the leading Estonian poets, Betti Alver, both in the cultural spaces of the occupied homeland and the Estonian diaspora in the West after WWII. I will ask what aesthetic and/or ethical values emerged in the reception of her poetry in the field of Estonian culture in exile.

A number of Betti Alver’s works have been published in English since the 1930s. These offer a basis for speaking about the reception of her poetry in the English-language cultural space, in keeping with French literary theorist Pascale Casanova’s idea of the field of world literature. How did Alver’s lyrics connect with the open space of world literature?

Betti Alver was undoubtedly a great figure in Estonian poetry, but the fluorescence of her authorial image was also influenced by some factors external to the text, for example the tragic fate of her husband, the talented poet Heiti Talvik in the Stalinist Gulag, and her own subsequent silence.

Drawing upon the private correspondences of the great literary critics of the Estonian cultural diaspora in America Ants Oras and Hellar Grabbi, I will consider the reasons for the extraordinary influence of Alver’s lyric poetry from the perspective of Estonian national culture in exile.

Marisa Kerbizi (Alexander Moisiu University, Faculty of Education): Lyrical Poetry and the Self-healing Process

Albanian literature is considered a domain of epic genres. The reason is strongly related to the historical and social context in which this art developed. The ideological function is the main reason why most literary works were written, making epic genres strongly connected with the narrative of the nation and national awareness. From the Albanian Renaissance on, epic poetry and later short stories or novels were the main genres used to represent Albanian literature. This dominant model became highly oppressive during the period of socio-realism. Lyrical poets were condemned, imprisoned and even executed in totalitarian Albania because their desperate call for freedom was a menace to the regime. This means that although in quantitative terms the epic genres represented the dominant model of literary development, the repression shown towards lyrical writers is strongly related with the prohibition of the state on real cultural identity. After the fall of the totalitarian regime, there was a sudden development of the lyrical genres, which were the only literary models that could define the huge emotional abys that communism brought into Albanians’ lives. Poets such as Visar Zhiti, Zef Zorba, Mimoza Ahmeti, Ervin Hatibi, Agron Tufa, etc., who published their work after the ‘90s, rediscovered a new face of Albanian identity, which for the first time was strongly connected to poetry. The interpretation of the abundant importance of the poetry in acting as a self-healing mechanism, through which the real shape of Albanian identity is conveyed, is the main goal of this paper.

Marko Pajević (University of Tartu): The Semantics of the Absurd: On German Hermetic Poetry after 1945 and Political Commitment

After 1945 there was a general breakdown of German culture. Not only was the country in ruins and an outcast of the international community because of the recent regime and its devastating effects, but there was also doubt as to the entire cultural tradition: had German culture always been heading towards this catastrophe? Had everything been corrupted? While the economy kept busy attempting not to confront the terrors of the past, intellectuals and artists radically interrogated the reasons for the disaster – and, as always, the root can be found in language and the meaning-making procedures of language. Philosophers such as Wittgenstein and Heidegger fuelled reflection on language, but it was particularly in lyrical poetry that a lucid and politically aware examination of the recent past took place and an expression of such considerations found. This paper demonstrates how poets contributed greatly to the development of a new political awareness in German-language culture. By integrating silence and the absurd (that is, the unheard-of and the unspeakable) into literary language, this so-called hermetic poetry did not withdraw from society but, on the contrary, devoted itself to a particular political commitment. It represents a rupture with what Horkheimer and Adorno called “culture industry” (1947), going against smooth automatisms and encouraging people to stop in their tracks and think. Paul Celan, Ingeborg Bachmann, Ilse Aichinger, Günter Eich and Nelly Sachs are but the most famous names of this poetics. Even though it was never necessarily mainstream, it was definitely the most innovative poetic strand of its time and in the long term a shaping factor for a modern German culture that could come to terms with its past and overcome authoritarian structures.

Martin Klöker (Estonian Academy of Sciences Under and Tuglas Literature Centre): "How We Can Make Use of Any Verse in Common Life": The Seat and Function of Early Modern Poetry in Literary Culture

Even in the Middle Ages, rhyming verses were popular to make it easier to remember different types of content. From the 16th century onwards, humanist education institutions by rhetoric turned to a basic education of pupils and students in (initially still Latin) poetry. At the beginning, apart from the productive acquisition of ancient verses, the production of Latin and Greek verses was on the curriculum. With the transition to (vernacular) German, reception received a noticeable boost, as broader sections of the population were now able to understand the verses. This was particularly important in the case of poetry, because verses were understood as 'Carmina' (songs) that should be singable by nature and thus could also be heard and recorded by illiterate people.

On this basis, the role of poetry in the change in literary culture in the Baltics will be shown using three examples: In Riga, a humanistic literary culture developed in the 1580s, in which Latin and German poems also played their part. A similar literary culture arose in Reval (Tallinn) around 50 years later, but was much more influenced by German-language poetry. Finally, the poems contained in the love letters of that time from the secretary of the Estonian Knighthood in Reval, Caspar Meyer, can give an idea of the importance and function of verses and poems in people's lives.

Matthew Guay (Ryutsu Keizai University): Ryukyuan Lyrical Poetry Translation and its Role in the Preservation of Ryukyuan Language and Identity

Lyrical poetry and poetic verbal art, from the animal language of the Ceq Wond (Malaysia), Tom Yaya Kange of the New Guinean highlands, or the Welsh poetic tradition of cynghanedd, is astounding in both its beauty and breadth. The loss of these traditional poetics also stands as a great tragedy as half of the world’s languages are set to go extinct in the next 50 years, even according to the most optimistic estimates (Evans 2010). The lack of an orthography, small populations, and the myth that the epic poetry of the Indo-European tradition was part of a literary tradition, distinguished from the so-called non-literate traditions of the rest of the world, combine to perpetuate these low status conditions. The discovery of Advo Mededovic (Lord 2000) disproved the literature myth, but a vast amount of the worlds’ poetry remains undervalued and understudied all while the world is set to lose half of its remaining linguistic diversity. It is against this backdrop that the lyrical poetry of the Ryukyu islands and its translation into Japanese will be analysed for its influence on the literature and identity of the Ryukyuan people. Ryukyuan culture was at its zenith during the Ryukyu Kingdom, which stood between 1429 and 1879 when it was formally annexed into Japan as Okinawa Prefecture. Less than thirty years later, following the global trend of the time, Japan began a fervent suppression campaign against Ryukyuan, labelling the language a dialect and banning its use entirely from schools (Heinrich 2012). A seminal reason Ryukyuan was so vulnerable to the Japanese monolingual shift, in addition to the abstand nature of the language forming a dialect continuum across the archipelago, was the lack of an established orthography even after 450 years of self-rule (Ogawa 2015). However, there was an orthographic convention for writing lyrical poetry and folk songs, called ‘minyō’, first compiled into the Omori sōshi by the early 17th century. Though this traditional lyrical poetry has evolved over the centuries along with the influence of Japanese, ‘minyō’ are still today instrumental in allowing Ryukyuans to maintain their cultural identity and literature. They both serve as a source of pride as Japan retains little of this heritage in daily life, and as an important opportunity for Okinawans to use their heritage language (Gillan 2015). After establishing the Japonic language context, this presentation will demonstrate how translation into Japanese has had both positive and negative effects on Ishigaki island in the southern Ryukyus, and conversely how translation has helped spread Ryukyuan culture and music to mainland Japan, even allowing popular artists to perform in their heritage languages to Japanese audiences who are satisfied to read the translation rather than listen in Japanese.

Miriam McIlfatrick-Ksenofontov (Tallinn University): An Attempt to Account for Distributed Cognition in Translating the Poetry of Jüri Üdi AKA Juhan Viiding

This paper continues my research in the creative process of making and translating poetry, i.e. working towards the verbal articulation of what is beyond the grasp of conventional language usage. It is also a preamble to translating the poetry of one of Estonia’s most widely read poets, Jüri Üdi aka Juhan Viiding (1948-1995). Viiding (also an actor and singer) is relatively unknown outside Estonia, not least because of the translation demands posed by his poetics.

An understanding of Viiding’s work is enhanced when viewed in the wider human perspective of distributed cognition, as elaborated by neuroanthropologist Merlin Donald (A Mind So Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness, 2001). Distributed cognition can be perceived as the evolving sociocultural network of which all are part and in which all participate. The paper adopts Donald’s approach to art as “arising” in the context of distributed cognition and draws on his research on the working of the individual mind in the context of the “synergy of many brains”. Distributed cognition is both an aspect of culture and the space in which the creative mind works; here, the concept of “the artful mind” (Mark Turner’s term, in The Artful Mind: Cognitive Science and the Riddle of Human Creativity, 2006) encompasses the preverbal and verbal mental processing manifestly at work in the work of art.

In contrast to a traditional socio-historical background used to contextualise literature and translation research, distributed cognition is an active entity that evolves with culture and contributes to the evolution of culture. Outstanding literary and artistic figures, such as Viiding, generally participate actively in both directions in this cultural exchange. An understanding of this is helpful for the translator of Viiding’s poetry who intends the translated poem to do in another language what it does in the original, for it involves thinking through language to access the working of the artful mind in the text.

Miriam Rossi (Tallinn University): Arno Tsart and Elena Shchvarts: Pseudo-translating Identity

Poetry translation was part and parcel of “making the Russian literature” (Brian James Baer in Translation and the Making of the Modern Russian Literature, 2016), a fascination with foreign literature that moulded Russian literary identity especially through poet–translators’ activities. 

The Soviet context is no exception. In fact, the enchantment of the “imaginary West” pervaded Soviet society at different levels and with various degrees of intensity (Alexei Yurchak, Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation, 2006). Engaging with the Western Other through translation made it possible to imagine what lay beyond the Iron Curtain and to renegotiate the Russian/Soviet relationship with it. The Western world was re-created and re-interpreted through translation practices, which featured both in the officialdom and in unofficial spaces, though in the former case it inescapably dealt with censorial norms.

However, in the underground, especially in the Leningrad samizdat, poetry translation and the Western Other enjoyed a degree of freedom and experimentation. The case I explore in my paper is the pseudo-translations of the fictitious Estonian poet Arno Tsart by the Russian poetess Elena Shchvarts, published in samizdat in the eighties. In the paper I elaborate on the reasons behind the use of pseudo-translation of a Soviet-though-Western Other to understand why and how the poetess’ lyrical ‘I’ needed an Estonian alter ego.

Engaging with Shchvarts’s pseudo-translation allows us to connect the samizdat poetry of the seventies, of which the poetess was a representative (Marco Sabbatini, “Quel che si metteva in rima”: cultura e poesia underground a Leningrado, 2008), and the increase in samizdat poetry translation of the eighties. Both phenomena characterised Leningrad samizdat and show how the quest for the lyrical may be entangled with foreign poetry, despite or because of Soviet cultural isolation and ideologisation.

Nadia López-Peláez Akalay (University of Granada): “A Rain Dog Too”: Tom Waits and the Underdogs in His Poetry and Visual Art

Tom Waits, through his poetry, his poetic and public personae, has become the father of the desperate failures of society, those who lay down and fill the background with disillusionment. No-direction-homers flock together and become the majority of Waits’ main characters. As an artist, he gives a voice and a name to those who, otherwise, would remain invisible, endowing them with corporeality. Waits, through the projection of his public persona, illumines the lives of the weak, who strive to survive in a world that has always fed upon those below. There is something honourable about the people who struggle the most, trying to find their path in the darkest of places, and Waits, through his career as an entertainer, has always prioritised his respect for these people, praising their many faults and poor decisions, merging them with the tormented collective and thus becoming one with their sadness and horror.

This paper will focus on how Tom Waits constructs his personae through an identification with the disappointments of society: the underdog, and, more particularly, the alcoholic underdog. I intend to focus mainly on the lyrical content of his albums Rain Dogs and Small Change, together with their respective representations in other art forms, specifically interviews, lives, artistry, etc. This section will also include Tom Waits’ depiction of some characters as grotesques, as they form the limits of societal acceptance. In the last section I will examine the presence and construction of these grotesques in his album Alice (2002), while comparing the lyrical content to its other cultural manifestations.

Natalia Kamovnikova (St. Petersburg University of Management Technologies and Economics): The Image of a St Petersburger as Constructed by 20th Century Lyrical Poetry

As an imperial capital of the 19th century, St Petersburg was frequently used by poets as a background for their lyrical works. Stripped of its metropolitan status after the October revolution of 1917, renamed Leningrad after the diseased revolutionary leader, and severely distrusted by generations of Soviet leaders, the city gradually became a cultural alternative to centralised Soviet culture. So-called ‘Leningrad/St Petersburg poetry’ embraced such poets as Akhmatova, Gumilev, Mandelstam, Brodsky, Shefner, as well as a number of underground poets of the second half of the 20 century. The city “impenetrable, out of favour, and beloved”, as Akhmatova described it in her Poem without a Hero, was repeatedly described in 20th-century poetry as one-of-a-kind, and its inhabitants as people different from those born in other cities. Polite, aloof, renouncing authority, and inwardly opposed to any official power the image of a true St Petersburger was berhymed by poets and further enhanced in the 1980s by Russian rock music, which also came about in Leningrad, when the Leningrad Rock Club became the first rock club to open in the Soviet Union. The poetically disseminated image secured a social stereotype for St Petersburgers as covert rebels under the guise of reserve, forebearancce and self-composure. The paper will focus on how Leningrad/St Petersburg city poetry contributed to the construction of the identity of St Petersburgers. A born and raised St Petersburger, I shall talk about the historical, political, and cultural reasons why St Petersburg poetry took this course, and its reverberations in the 21st century.

Natalia Nikitina (HSE University): “Nur ein Deutscher kann jenes Lied nachempfinden”: Poetry and National Identity in Heinrich Heine’s Reisebilder

Heinrich Heine’s Reisebilder was constructed as a complex form that combines texts of different genres and intentions. The book demonstrates a certain degree of dynamic unity, as the plot progresses and the central topics get new interpretations. As often happens with travelogues, one of its central topics is national identity, with Heine picturing Germany in comparison to other European countries. Remarkably, the writer depicts national identity through art and culture, which play an important role at all text levels , from the narrative and plot structure to the style and imagery. The parts that have a strong fictional nature (Die Harzreise, Ideen. Das Buch Le Grand and Italien) alternate with non-fictional Die Nordsee and Englische Fragmente, while the narrator acquires features of the biographic author, traveller, poet, lyric hero, protagonist of a short story, observer, satiric publicist, etc. All in all, there seems to be a strong connection between motherland and poetry: the farther the traveller moves from Germany, the softer is the lyrical voice of the poet, giving way to epos, drama and critics. The paper aims to see how this evolution influences the plot, style and images of the text and conveys the writer’s ideas.

Natalia Tuliakova (HSE University): Russian Poetic Legend: Trends and Landmarks

In the nineteenth century legend as a literary genre emerged and gained a foothold as an alternative way of modelling reality in many European literatures. While prosaic legend is starting to draw scholars’ attention, its poetic counterpart has been unjustly overlooked. The present paper will outline the evolution of poetic legend in Russian literature from its emergence until 1917.

In this period quite a few poems written in Russian were entitled legends. They often had religious content, or bore a historical character (Pushkin’s, Aksakov’s, Kozlov’s legends). Narrating a story, they were somewhat epic, which at the time linked them to ballad. Later on, under the influence of prosaic legends, poets started to experiment with the form, and the generic marker began to denote not only a Christian story, but any story allegedly relating a certain tradition arousing some emotion (Merezhkovsky’s legends). This allowed the legend to move from a lyroepic variant to its lyric form (Balmont, Bunin). At the same time, the opposite tendency is observed. Due to the increased literacy, the demand for ‘simple’ literature grew along with the number of versified religious legends. Partly as an result of translations, legends also exploited national (exotic) themes and spoke about other cultures’ legacies.

It can be seen that Russian literature poetic legends do not form a canon with a set of steady features but remain a free genre. Often conveying a highly emotional experience, they may adapt to elegy, ballad, romance. However, they are imbued with a certain attitude and belong to one of the directions in literary development that should be taken into account in genre- mapping.

Ona Dilytė (Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore): In Search of the Essence of Lyric Poetry in the 17th Century: Sarbievius’ Efforts

Mathias Casimirus Sarbievius (Sarbiewski, 1595–1640) was neo-Latin author of lyric books (Lyricorum libri) well known not only in Lithuania and Poland, but also in other European countries. Meanwhile, in the “Characteres lyrici” section of his poetic lecture notes, he also pays a lot of theoretical attention to distinguishing lyric as a genre and its specific features. Comparing lyrical invention with other types of poetry, Sarbievius defines it as “more suitable for depicting important, majestic, sublime, and distant things from everyday life”. By discussing appropriate strategies for "conveying lyrical inspiration", he illustrates their application with examples from ancient and contemporary poets.

The paper will focus on the cases of Sarbievius’s “mixed invention” – because Sarbievius says it is typical of other genres, such as the epic – and the specific features of lyrical fiction that he distinguishes from, for example, epic fiction. One such feature of lyrical fiction, according to Sarbievius, is that the poet's self-representation in a fictional action is characteristic and necessary exclusively for lyrical poetry. The action of lyrical fiction, Sarbievius says, involves the poet himself or the person who plays the role of poet: “the poet himself, for example, creates images in which he flies or constructs, or organizes games, or awakens fame from sleep, as we have seen in the examples above. And in the epic, Achilles acts, not Homer, Aeneas, not Virgil.” Thus, Sarbievius emphasizes the role of the subject in lyric writing, bringing it closer to the concept of the subject in modern literary theories. The report will also analyse the ekphrastic devices of lyric poetry discussed by Sarbievius and will illustrate their application in the lyric of the author and other contemporary poets by analysing specific examples.

Reet Bender (Tartu University): “Schanno bleibt trei”: Schanno von Dinakant as the Last Hero of Half-German Poetry

Half-German poetry (halbdeutsche Dichtung) was a unique manifestation of Baltic German literature and the Baltic German dialect. This particular type of humoristic poetry in the Baltic Provinces was created by Baltic German authors who were fluent in German and sought entertainment in ridicule and grammatically incorrect use of the German of so-called Half-Germans (Estonians and Latvians who aspired to German identity). The first author to write in this genre was J. J. Malm, who created the bilingual German-Estonian poem “Oberpahlsche Freundschaft” (1841), which became extraordinarily popular. Later authors of Half-German poetry include Dr Bertram, Rudolf Seuberlich, Arthur Usthal, Bernhard Semenov, Nikolai Seemann von Jesersky and Walther von Wistinghausen. Ilse Lehiste has conducted linguistic research on Half-German poetry, Maie Kalda has analysed it as an example of macaronic poetry, Vahur Abrams has applied Mikhail Bakhtin’s theory of carnival by on this study object.

The most long-lived and viable character of Half-German poetry has been Schanno von Dinakant (=Jeannot from the area of the Daugava River), a fictional half-German hero who first appeared in Nikolai Seemann von Jesersky’s poetry and Bernhard Semenov’s couplet works before WWI.

Schanno later developed into a peculiar chronicler throughout different periods of his era, whose tales in a peculiar Estonian–German–Latvian–Russian mixed language in his simple way hilariously mirrored revolutionary changes in society affecting the Baltic German minority.

In this development Schanno crystallised as a poet-philosopher in the role of a folkloric alter ego of Baltic Germans with this identity during and after WWII. In numerous occasional poems, spread widely orally among the people, he followed the typical fate of Baltic Germans participating in the relocation from the Baltic States to Germany in 1939, living in Warthegau during the war and fleeing in 1945 to the western part of Germany, finally emigrating to the USA. He was always there, nothing could take place without him, at least according to an article in the leading Baltic-German newspaper Baltische Briefe, published in western Germany on the occasion of the 750th anniversary of the City of Riga in 1951: “Hät keiner denn an mir gedacht, wenn Jubilä’um man jetzt macht! Was ist denn das fir rigasch’ Fest, wenn Schann man zu Hause läßt?”

This presentation thoroughly addresses fictional post-WWII Schanno revealing Baltic German dignity as a humorous-melancholic farewell to a declining Baltic German community that had lost its natural habitat in the Baltic States.

Saara Lotta Linno (Tartu University): More Than Just Macaronic Language: On the Multilingual Aspects of Estonian Lyricism

In Estonian literary criticism, multilingualism has generally been analysed in the context of the early stages of Estonian literature due to the thorough intertwining between Baltic German and Estonian culture during those times. Thus, the main multilingual poetic device studied in Estonian literature has been macaronic language, i.e. the use of different languages in a text carrying a comic effect. Few studies have examined later periods. In an increasingly global context it has become clear that the assumption of parodic humour in literary multilingualism needs to be reviewed, and other poetic functions must be considered, as has been done in global research on literary multilingualism. Through a close reading of three bilingual texts from contemporary Estonian literature my presentation will show some of the different functions that the simultaneous use of different languages can have in lyric poetry. Firstly, I will analyse the text of the song “Kukeseen” (2011) by the rapper Genka as an example of contemporary macaronic lyricism. Secondly, Kristiina Ehin’s poem “*sel aastavahetusel Tallinn-Moskva rongis…” (2000) will be examined as a case of prosodic and metonymic code-switching. Thirdly, I will analyse Igor Kotjuh’s poem “*14. juuni…” (2017) to consider the function of Cyrillic script when writing in Estonian, focusing on using one language’s alphabet to write in another language. Through these readings, I intend to broaden the way multilingualism is interpreted in Estonian lyricism, showing a variety of its poetic functions.

Zakhar Ishov (Uppsala University): Poetic Licence vs “Irresponsible Invention”: Brodsky and Lowell Translating Umberto Saba

In America Joseph Brodsky famously tried to raise the standards of Russian–English poetry translations. Once he even suggested American publishers adopt the Soviet practice of accuracy controls in poetry translation. Using archival finds from 1971 my paper will probe the effectiveness of such practices using the example of Brodsky’s own translations into Russian of Italian poet Umberto Saba. To continue the conversation about the contrasts and similarities in Russian and American practice of poetry translation, I will then compare Brodsky’s Russian translation of Saba’s poem “Winter Noon” with the English translation of the same poem by Robert Lowell.

Živilė Nedzinskaitė (Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore): The Importance of Lyric poetry in the Funerary Culture of the Seventeenth Century Grand Duchy of Lithuania: The Story of One Work

In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, with the change of eras and cultural situation, moving from the epic forms of the Renaissance to the variety of genre characteristic of the Baroque, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) also became home to works of lyric poetry. One of the areas of literature including lyrical poetry or insertions thereof was funerary literature, i.e. works usually dedicated to the funerals of the nobility or church elite. Since literary works of this kind were rare special attention is merited by those dedicated to honouring departed women.

One of the more interesting funerary works in the GDL is Funebria by Jonas Kimbaras (1603) in Latin, published in Vilnius. This work is dedicated to the honour of the wife of Teodor Lacki (1554-1610), rotmistrz of the GDL, Izabela Bonarelli (1567-1602) who had died a year prior in 1602. There is only one known surviving copy of this work, kept at the Wroblewski library at the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. This presentation will focus on a single part of this interesting and exceptional work, the lyrical poems, which form a concluding part of this work. Therefore there will be a brief introduction of the history of this work and its structure, with the eight lyrical poems receiving the greatest attention with a detailed analysis. The presentation will also state how these lyrical poems stand out in the context of the funerary literature of the time in the GDL, followed by a discussion of their effect on further development of lyrical literature in the GDL and lyrical literature in the emerging Lithuanian language.

Takuma Ito (Sorbonne Nouvelle University Paris III): Lyrical Poetry and the Notion of the Individual in Tristan Tzara’s Works Published in the 1930s

The name of Tristan Tzara is generally associated with Dada without consideration for the diversity of his poetry or the evolution of his theoretical thinking. On the other hand, it should be noted that some critics admired the lyric in his poetry. In 1930, for example, Benjamin Fondane presciently compared Tzara to Rimbaud: « Tzara n’est plus un chef d’école, ni même un dadaïste, mais un voyant lyrique » (“Tzara is neither a leader of the school, nor a Dadaist, but a lyrical seer”). Thus, it is possible to approach the lyric in Tzara.

According to the theory of the lyric animated by numerous researchers since the end of the 1980s, the lyric subject (le sujet lyrique) is no longer reducible to a simple effusion of the self because the question is what exceeds the first person singular. The lyrical poetry becomes a ‘personal poetry’ involved in multiple persons.

Concerning this “personal poetry”, it is important to note that Tzara endeavoured to forge a notion of ‘the individual’ during the 1930s. First, in Grains et Issues (‘Seed and Bran’, 1935), he tried to show the individual as a social personality, even the individual free of his singular characters. Secondly, in the article titled “Le poète dans la sociète” (‘The Poet in Society’, 1936), he insisted on the individualistic character of the poet who stands against organised society. Therefore, through the search for this ‘individual’, it seems that Tzara’s poetry tends towards the idea of the lyric.

This study intends to confirm the lyric of Tzara and the evolution of his notion of the individual from Dada onward. It will allow us to clarify the relationship between lyrical poetry and the person.

Tamara Andrés (University of Vigo): People, Publications and Dialogues: An Overview of Poetic Translation into Galician between 1983 and 2000

Our objective is to offer an overview of poetic translation into Galician from the democratic transition in the Spanish State, after leaving behind a dictatorial regime that deprived the Galician language of public and cultural use. We will take as our starting point the year 1983, the date on which the Lei de Nomalización Lingüística (Law of Linguistic Normalisation) was approved in Galicia; we will stop in the year 2000 with the turn of the millennium.

On the one hand, we will take into account which collections of poems are translated into book format in that timeframe using data collected in the Bitraga catalog (Biblioteca da Tradución Galega/Galician Translation Library). In addition, we will also collect all those translations that appear in periodical publications that include poems in translation: Dorna (1981-), Festa da palabra silenciada (1983-2001) e A Trabe de Ouro (1990-).

These data will allow us to establish, within the framework of a place officially constituted as autonomy, which spaces are most receptive to poetic translation, its causes and consequences, as well as to know which dialogues are established in Galicia through poetic translation and which people promote and carry out these translations.

Tanar Kirs (University of Tartu): Juhan Liiv’s Comprehension of Lyric Poetry

Juhan Liiv (1864-1913) is considered the most famous Estonian poet. He had no systematic academic education to speak of and in his youth started suffering from mental illness. His lyric poetry was incredibly good, but his talent was explained away as something ‘mysterious’. Very little has been said of his eye for theoretical detail in poetry. My first argument is that Liiv exhibited a critical and systematic comprehension of lyric, primarily seen in the manuscript for his essay “Marginalia”, of which only excerpts were published. Cultural circles see Liiv’s work as a generalisation of one small society seeking its literary origins. Liiv himself is thought of as a sort of a primitive genius; someone whose talent stems from a divine source. The desire to understand Liiv’s work as something wholly original in part probably comes from the fact that the poetry of Lydia Koidula, the founder of the poetic paradigm in older Estonian literature, largely turned out to be an interpretation or even direct translation of German sources. Liiv’s manuscripts show that he was very well read. The only foreign language he knew was German. Liiv’s manuscripts show that he had a keen interest in both German poetic culture and philosophy. My second argument is that there is a background system to Liiv’s comprehension of lyric poetry that no one has known to address directly thus far. Fear of lessening the originality of Liiv’s work has not allowed us to consider the effect that the background of Liiv’s thinking might have on Estonian culture. Liiv’s comprehension of lyric poetry opens a window on the discourse of European literature and philosophy.

Tanya Escudero (Tallinn University): The Translation of Verse Form: A Revision of Holmes’ Model

Although it is broadly accepted that a poem is an indissoluble union of content and form, the latter is frequently overlooked in research on poetry translation, or has been addressed under rather prescriptivist approaches, with notable exceptions, J. S. Holmes (Translated! Papers on literary translation and translation studies, 1994) and F. R. Jones (Poetry translating as expert action: Processes, priorities and networks, 2011) among others. This paper deals with the translation of the poetic form from a descriptivist perspective from a corpus of 69 Spanish translations of Shakespeare’s Sonnets published between 1877 (when the first translation appeared) and 2018. It addresses, particularly, the outer form or macrostructure of the poems using one sonnet of each translation as a prototype and considering five parameters, namely the use of prose or verse; the syllabic count; the stress pattern; the rhyme type (consonant, assonant or hybrid); and the rhyme scheme. This analysis will serve as a basis for classifying these translations according to Holmes’ metapoem forms (mimetic, analogical, organic and extraneous forms) and for proposing a revision of this model to accommodate the resulting forms. The variety of solutions translators employ indicates that, while there are certain forms or patterns repeated throughout, there is no preferred way of rendering these sonnets, not even during a specific period. The only thing that seems to be constant is the preference for verse over prose.

Tiina-Erika Friedenthal (University of Tartu): Poetry about the Passion of Christ in 17th Century Estonia, Livonia and Courland

In the presentation, I give an overview of poems related to Estonia, Livonia and Courland in the 17th century that are expressly devoted to the topic of the Passion of Christ. I have identified nine such works from the most important centres in the region: Riga, Tallinn, Tartu and Mitau/Jelgava. Most of them have been written in some connection with a gymnasium or university, the authors are gymnasium or university students, gymnasium professors or rectors of a school. The longest poem was by an active clergyman from Tallinn. Despite the predominant academic context, the majority of these Passion poems are in German, there is only one Latin verse oration on the subject, plus one Greek work published in Uppsala. My research questions are: by whom, in what context, for what purpose and to whom were the works created, performed and/or published, and what can be said about the reception of the works? On what Gospels and other biblical texts are they based, and to what extent? What theological views and understandings are expressed in the works and to what extent do they reflect theological issues and controversies of the 17th century? Are there significant differences and visible developments in the poetic forms and emotional style of the works?

Tiiu Jaago (University of Tartu): Whether to Prefer Epic or Lyric Folk Songs: A Turning Point in Valuing the Regilaul Early Estonian Folk Song Type

Early discussions about the songs of Estonian peasants focused on their themes and messages. As these discussions were held in German, valuation of these songs was affected by translation. For instance, August Wilhelm Hupel considered these songs “unbearably childish, when they, for example, narrate something”. Or, more accurately, if they narrate something. The songs that Hupel tried to translate into German were not narrative, meaning that they were not epic songs. The figurative integrity of these lyric songs, which was related to the characteristics of the Estonian language, was completely lost in the translation and made the content of the songs meaningless.

In the first half of the 19th century, when Baltic German intellectuals discussed to what extent an early Estonian folk song can be used as a model in creating Estonian poetry, they had in mind first and foremost the features of the form of the folk song. Despite the fact that Fr. R. Kreutzwald compiled the epic Kalevipoeg in the form of epic poetry, he used Estonian lyric folk songs in his work. Hence, he faced the practical question of how to translate lyric songs into German in such a way that the message it contains is not lost due to poetic form and cultural differences. In the conditions of building national and state independence at the turn of the 20th century, epic poetry was preferred.

The focus of the presentation is on the discussions that took place at that time and in which one can see a turning point from the preference of epic poetry to the appreciation of the lyricism of the songs. Jaan Jõgever’s lectures at the university of Tartu (from 1909 to 1913) and Friedebert Tuglas’s essay “Kirjanduslik stiil” (‘Literary Style’, 1912) are observed in this context in detail.

Ülar Ploom (Tallinn University): Some Observations on Dante’s Paradise Figures and Images and Their Translation

This paper studies some peculiarities of the imagery in Dante’s Paradiso, concentrating on its dynamics and the tension between the allegedly ahistorical aspiration and the necessarily historical outcome. Dante’s Paradiso has double space: the timeless and motionless non-space and the quickly changing space of perception of Dante the traveller. Images, ranging from theological and scholastic (and geometric), to courtly and artistic, but also mundane, are apt to change rapidly and radically, which demands both imagination and skill on the part of the translator.

The paper studies some cases of how different translators (Longfellow, Mandelbaum, Hollander and others) cope with the task. Special attention will be paid to some figures and images that are related to the closed and the open, for example the ones related to the concept of ‘punto’, dealing especially with „il punto che mi vinse“ (‘the point that overcame me’, XXX, 11), and „il punto di suo tema“ (‘the point of one’s representation’). Another interesting cluster is connected with the concept of ‘sigillo’ (‘seal’) in its different manifestations. Dante uses the noun sigillo and the verb sigillare mainly to denote completeness and perfection. However he also uses its contrary in „Cosí al sol la neve disigilla“ (‘So is the snow, beneath the sun, unsealed’, XXXIII, 64), which is followed by other images of openness that can be interpreted as a failure of Dante-the-narrator to memorise and express what his character has seen, but also as a poetic device to hint at what lies beyond.